‘I was very brave’: Robb Elementary shooting survivor shares his story during National Gun Violence Survivors Week

This week we recognize the fifth annual National Gun Violence Survivors Week.

UVALDE – National Gun Violence Survivors Week is a time to focus on sharing the stories of survivors to show gun violence doesn’t only affect those who died, but also those who live.

Jaydien Canizales is one of those survivors.

”Dak Prescott when he was playing against Buccaneers, they kept winning,” Jaydien said holding his new football cards.

“They did keep winning. What about Zeke?” KSAT 12 News reporter Leigh Waldman asked.

“Zeke -- he’s the best running back ‘cause he runs so far,” he answered.

It’s hard to find a bigger Cowboys fan than 10-year-old Jaydien.

When he’s not playing Madden or talking football, Jaydien is hanging out with friends and going to school at Flores Elementary.

“ELAR and Math,” are the subjects Jaydien likes the best.

“Okay, what’s ELAR?” Waldman asked.

“Reading,” he answered.

“Oh! What kind of books do you like to read?” she asked.

“Football books,” Jaydien said.

We told Jaydien that February 1st through the 7th honors gun violence survivors like him.

“What do you want people to know about you and about what happened?” Waldman asked.

“That I was very brave,” he said.

“Talk to me about how brave you were,” Waldman said.

“I was super brave ‘cause I didn’t move a muscle or talk,” he explained.

It’s the fifth year people like Jaydien are being recognized.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit started after the Sandy Hook shooting, the week supports survivors by pushing for action.

“There should be no more guns here or anywhere else,” Jaydien said. “Because then no one, no bad people will come to everybody’s school.”

Thankfully, Jaydien said he has more good days than bad. Coming back to Robb Elementary where everything happened is hard, but he’s okay being back here.

He likes sharing his story and being called a survivor.

“To know what I’ve been through and how I got out of it,” Jaydien said.

“Does it make you feel strong that you’re a survivor?” Waldman asked.

He nodded his head yes.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, National Gun Violence Survivors Week is recognized the first week of February because by that time, the U.S. has surpassed the number of gun deaths experienced by similar countries in an entire calendar year.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.